Arrogant motorists cause problems

IT WAS probably inevitable that there would be teething troubles for the new traffic system introduced around Ipswich town centre.But Monday saw traffic chaos hit the town on a grand scale – although the storms of the previous 24 hours didn't help and a dodgy traffic light added to the problems.

IT WAS probably inevitable that there would be teething troubles for the new traffic system introduced around Ipswich town centre.

But Monday saw traffic chaos hit the town on a grand scale – although the storms of the previous 24 hours didn't help and a dodgy traffic light added to the problems.

It's easy to blame the authorities for introducing the changes, and no doubt many people will be saying: "why change things – it was better before."

On that basis why change anything? Why not drive straight down Lloyds Avenue and under the arch? Why not drive along Tavern Street and Westgate Street and make all these miserable pedestrians jump out of the way?


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The new system is more logical for the town centre – and was supported by the majority of people who responded to a survey extensively publicised in many ways, including an Evening Star supplement, three years ago.

Many of the problems on Monday were caused by pig-headed motorists who had failed to understand the changes.

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These people had failed to read the leaflets shoved through their doors over the last few weeks.

They had failed to read the news stories and advertisements in local newspapers.

They had failed to take any notice of the signs put up around the town.

Maybe they're the same arrogant – or ignorant – motorists who have failed to obey the "cars prohibited" signs in Dogs Head Street, Upper Brook Street and Museum Street for the last two years.

Frankly if all motorists were law-abiding and had always obeyed the instructions around the town, these changes should hardly have affected them at all.

They shouldn't have been affected by the new one-way system because they shouldn't have been using those roads, they're closed to general traffic.

A round sign with a car and a motorbike means "motor traffic prohibited" not "low-flying motorcycles!"

I'm sure they'll be whinging from people who want to take their cars everywhere – and want a six-lane highway built straight through the Ancient House – but everyone has to learn sometime that the solution to traffic problems isn't just building more and more roads.

WHEN Britain's electricity industry was privatised in the late 1980s, it looked like the logical extension to the government's sell-off programme.

The companies were sold off as they existed at that time, and for a few years everything seemed all right.

But now look at our electricity industry. It looks like a complete Whitehall farce!

Most of us get power from a company which "supplies" electricity – although how it supplies it is a total mystery.

It doesn't have anything to do with the wires that it passes through – they're owned and maintained by 24Seven.

It generates a bit of power – but how can it tell whether its power is going to my home or my neighbour who's supplied by British Gas.

And am I the only person who thinks that the world's gone mad when you can get your electricity from British Gas and your gas from an electricity company?

When the winds came earlier this week thousands of people were confused about who to call for help.

TXU, British Gas, Powergen, N-Power, Uncle Tom Cobley & all were telling their customers – the people they send electricity bills to – that when the lines came down it had nothing to do with them.

We were told to contact 24Seven, an organisation no one pays their bills to, if we wanted to report a fault – and they hadn't got enough staff to cope.

I really cannot believe that anyone had this shambolic system in mind when the electricity industry was privatised, complete with Captain Kirk adverts, all those years ago.

Then we knew that the CEGB made electricity and our local electricity company supplied it through its wires.

It doesn't worry me one way or another whether these are owned by the government or private investors.

What does annoy me is that the businessmen and women who got their hands on the industry have pulled it apart and stuck it together again in such a bizarre way that no one without a PhD in business studies can understand it!

BACK in May the East of England Development Agency told me they'd be able to tell the world about the plans for the former Cranfield's Mill on the Ipswich Waterfront "within the next 10 days."

I can only assume their days are much longer than everyone else's – they've just told me an announcement on the subject is scheduled for early December!

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